Orbit Fab Wins SBIR Award for Satellite Refueling System

Orbit Fab has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award worth $222,713 to help fund the development of a refueling system for smaller satellites.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) America’s Seed Fund awarded the $222,713 grant to the company, which is based in Cupertino, Calif. Daniel Faber is the principal investigator

“The proposed project will remove the complexity of performing spacecraft proximity operations and docking in order to facilitate commercial refueling through a ‘bolt on’ standardized component with the associated sensors and functions,” according to the proposal abstract.

“The system will be installed during production on the ground. This integrated package of sensors, communications, fueling valves, and docking latches will provide the functionality required for a servicing vehicle and a client satellite to safely approach, securely dock, and exchange fuel between the two vehicles,” the abstract added.

Orbit Fab will use the NSF funding to refine the concept, determine the optimal optical alignment for operations and docking, and identify the suite of sensors required.

Xplore Selects Orbit Fab’s RAFTI Design Standard for its Exploration Missions

Xcraft (Credit: Xplore)

March 5, 2020, Seattle, Washington (Xplore PR) – Xplore Inc., a commercial space company providing Space As A ServiceTM today announced they are integrating the Orbit Fab RAFTI into the XcraftTM, Xplore’s highly-capable, multi-mission ESPA-class spacecraft.

The RAFTI, which stands for Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface, allows for reliable propellant transfers in the harshest space environments. It is ideal for mission destinations in any orbit, and thus aligns with Xplore’s ability to fly missions at destinations from Earth to the Moon, Mars, Venus, LaGrange points, Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and other locations in our inner solar system, more than 320 million km (200 million miles) from Earth.

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SpaceFund Announces New Fund, Investments

SpaceFund had an exciting 4th Quarter and we’re thrilled to announce that our first fund, SpaceFund One, is up and running and has made its’ first three investments: 

Made In Space

First 3D printer in space, additive manufacturing system now used under the ocean and in Antarctica. Manufactures ultra high-quality fiber optics in space.

Axiom

Commercial space station designed to evolve from International Space Station both in technology and customer base/income generation. First systems scheduled to fly 2020, with first paid commercial “spaceflight participants” on the ISS as early as 2021. 

Orbit Fab

Satellite re-fueling, propellant storage and transfer technologies. Flew on International Space Station, demonstrated transfers. Several patented technologies including docking clamp and fill/drain port for satellite refueling. Article from TechCrunch.

Looking Ahead

We’re excited to continue to grow our portfolio in 2020. If you think your company might be a good fit for the SpaceFund portfolio, please submit your information on our website: SpaceFund.com.

Orbit Fab Becomes the First Private Company to Supply ISS with Water

Following successful testing of tanks, valves, plumbing and coupling technologies, Orbit Fab’s tanker test-bed was used to supply the ISS water tanks. (Credit NASA)

SAN FRANCISCO, 18 June 2019 (Orbit Fab PR) — Within a year of securing venture funding, Orbit Fab has launched their hardware twice to the International Space Station (ISS) and supplied the station with water.

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